verb (used with object)


Origin of braid

before 950; Middle English braiden, breiden (v.), Old English bregdan to move quickly, move to and fro, weave; cognate with Old Norse bregtha, Dutch breien
Related formsbraid·er, nounwell-braid·ed, adjective
Can be confusedbraid brayed Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for braid

Contemporary Examples of braid

  • Boys let me know they liked me, too, and I realized that I looked good, tall and slim, my long hair in a braid down my back.

    The Daily Beast logo
    My Vanished Liberia

    Leymah Gbowee

    October 7, 2011

  • (9 p.m.) WEDNESDAY Braid Paisley and Carrie Underwood host the 42nd annual CMA Awards on ABC.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What to Watch on TV This Week

    Nicole Ankowski

    November 9, 2008

Historical Examples of braid

  • I think, on the whole, I shan't be obliged to learn to braid straw.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • She did not braid her hair, but let it hang over her shoulders.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Call her a Harvest Hamper, and braid her lovely locks with strings of onions!

    The Green Satin Gown

    Laura E. Richards

  • She had put her own hair down into a braid to be like the girl Dinney had told of.

    Gloria and Treeless Street

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • They attire themselves with care, they braid the garland, and they tune the pipe.


    William Godwin

British Dictionary definitions for braid



verb (tr)

to interweave several strands of (hair, thread, etc); plait
to make by such weavingto braid a rope
to dress or bind (the hair) with a ribbon, etc
to decorate with an ornamental trim or borderto braid a skirt


a length of hair, fabric, etc, that has been braided; plait
narrow ornamental tape of woven silk, wool, etc
Derived Formsbraider, noun

Word Origin for braid

Old English bregdan to move suddenly, weave together; compare Old Norse bregtha, Old High German brettan to draw a sword






broadly; frankly

Word Origin for braid

Scot variant of broad
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for braid

"to plait, knit, weave, twist together," c.1200, breidan, from Old English bregdan "to move quickly, pull, shake, swing, throw (in wrestling), draw (a sword); bend, weave, knit, join together; change color, vary; scheme, feign, pretend" (class III strong verb, past tense brægd, past participle brogden), from Proto-Germanic *bregthan "make sudden jerky movements from side to side" (cf. Old Norse bregða "to brandish, turn about, braid;" Old Saxon bregdan "to weave;" Dutch breien "to knit;" Old High German brettan "to draw, weave, braid"), from PIE root *bherek- "to gleam, flash" (cf. Sanskrit bhrasate "flames, blazes, shines"). In English the verb survives only in the narrow definition of "plait hair." Related: Braided; braiding.


in part from stem found in Old English gebrægd "craft, fraud," gebregd "commotion," Old Norse bragð "deed, trick," and in part from or influenced by related braid (v.). Earliest senses are "a deceit, stratagem, trick" (c.1200), "sudden or quick movement" (c.1300); meaning "anything plaited or entwined" (especially hair) is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper